Gilchrist: Marsh should be Australia’s vice-captain in Tests

Adam Gilchrist Mitchell Marsh should be Australia's vice-captain Test cricket

Adam Gilchrist: “I think a guy like Mitch Marsh could be a really strong appointment as Paine’s deputy”

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Legendary Australia wicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist firmly believes that all-rounder Mitchell Marsh should be appointed vice-captain of the Test team.

Australia are still searching for a vice-captain in the longest format following their disastrous tour of South Africa, during which Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were implicated in a ball tampering scandal.

It is understood that Warner played a leading role in the scandal, which occurred on the third day of the third Test in Cape Town, as he told Bancroft to alter the condition of the ball with sandpaper.

As a result, Warner and Steve Smith were banned for 12 months by Cricket Australia, while Bancroft was suspended for nine months. Smith won’t be allowed to captain Australia for two years, while Warner won’t be considered for leadership roles in the future.

Wicketkeeper-batsman Tim Paine has since been named Test captain and was also handed the ODI captaincy on an interim basis.

However, it still remains to be seen who will be Paine’s right-hand man in Test cricket. In Gilchrist’s view, Cricket Australia should no look no further than Marsh.

“I think a guy like Mitch Marsh could be a really strong appointment as Paine’s deputy,” Gilchrist told foxsports.com.au. “Again, provided he stays fit, I see him playing a big role in being a core or foundation player for that team to be built around.

“He showed some really promising signs for WA in the last Sheffield Shield season. He could mature into a very good leader. Nathan Lyon is the more experienced but if I had to appoint someone, I would have Tim and Mitch as the combination.”

During his illustrious career, Gilchrist captained Australia in six of his 96 Tests, but admitted that it was extremely tough to keep and fulfill all the responsibilities that come with the captaincy at the same time.

Despite this, he is confident that Paine will thrive as Australia’s captain.

“I found keeping and captaining very challenging and I don’t think I could have done it full time,” he said. “You just get mentally challenged continually in the role. But I guess it’s the same for any captain. Your mind is always racing about the team issues and you have to find a way to switch back on to just your job.

“But I expect that Tim Paine will handle the captaincy really well, mostly because of where he is at in his career and life. He’s a little bit more mature than the average rookie.

“His experience this second opportunity he’s been given out of nowhere. He’s only just established himself in the team but now he’s a senior statesman all of a sudden. He’s a well-balanced guy and he will do well.

“I don’t think you should pigeonhole keepers as being unable to captain. MS Dhoni did it brilliantly well for India. There are guys that can do it. But for me personally, it would have been a bit too much for a long period of time.”

Gilchrist also lauded the appointment of Justin Langer as Australia’a head coach. Langer succeeded Darren Lehmann, who stepped down from the position after the four-Test series against South Africa.

“I thought Justin Langer was a spot on appointment,” he said. “Once Darren Lehmann resigned, Justin was the perfect guy to come in and take on that role. It is going to be a very big challenge for that player group and the Aussie cricket team and the broader circle around it.

“The legacy of this will be around for a while so they will have to work out a way to deal with that. There are challenging times, no doubt. But there are also opportunities to see who is up for that journey and that rebuild.”

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